By Med City FC
A brace from first-year Mayhem midfielder Narcis Bou ensured that Med City FC’s 2022 NPSL season started off with a win in a hard-fought contest between the Mayhem and Wisconsin-based LC Aris FC on Saturday night at Rochester Regional Stadium in Rochester, Minnesota.
Med City FC opened the scoring in the 21st minute, with Bou taking a pass from fellow midfielder Scott Neil and depositing it neatly in the bottom corner of the net from long range to open the Mayhem’s 2022 scoring account. The lead was short-lived, however, with LC Aris replying just six minutes later. A ball sent into the Med City FC box was initially dealt with by Mayhem keeper Iker Gonzales, but a messy scrum in the area led to the ball finding the back of the net for Aris courtesy of Abdul Samet Ankaoglu. Neither team would find the net again in the first half, and the teams went into the locker room knotted at 1-1 at halftime.
Med City FC began to find its rhythm a little more in the second half, controlling the tempo and time of possession better than they had in the first half and gaining more of a foothold in the game. Their control paid off in the 65th minute, with Bou taking a ball from defender Josh Balsiger and going on a mazy run through several Aris players before tapping into the far corner of the net to regain the lead for the Mayhem.
Med City FC was comfortable for much of the rest of the game after scoring their second goal. However, LC Aris made things interesting in the game’s final few minutes, first having a goal disallowed for an offside call in the 88th minute and then having another shot cleared off the line by Mayhem midfielder Aung Win in added time.
“It was a tough game for us,” said Med City FC general manager Frank Spaeth. “We literally had three practices before getting onto the field for the game, as we depend on so many college players and they simply can’t get here any sooner. But we found a way to win, which is the most important thing.”
Spaeth was also quick to credit LC Aris FC for their efforts.
“It looks like this year’s Aris team is shaping up to be the best that I can remember,” he said. “I would not be surprised to see them get some results this season against some of the perennial powerhouses of the conference.”
Med City FC is at home again on Saturday, May 14 as they welcome Sioux Falls Thunder FC to Rochester for a 7:00 pm kickoff at Rochester Regional Stadium. The Thunder will come to Rochester on the heels of a 1-1 home draw against Dakota Fusion FC last Saturday.
Photo Credit: Al Weiner, Med City FC